Klöden to skip national tour

Team Astana's Andreas Klöden will not ride the Deutschland Tour, choosing instead to help his team...

Team Astana's Andreas Klöden will not ride the Deutschland Tour, choosing instead to help his team gain its second Grand Tour victory in the Vuelta a España. Klöden explained that this is a major objective for his team, which was denied entry into the Tour de France despite having the defending champion among its ranks. After a discussion with his team's directors, it was decided that the German would benefit the team more in Spain.

"For Astana, the Vuelta, as one of the three major tours per year is very important, and we want of course to win," said Klöden.

"We will make every effort to put in a strong performance with a good team," said the 33-year-old. "The first week I will use to warm up. I hope that I can play a vital role in the decisive stages and make an important contribution to support the team." Klöden helped Alberto Contador win the Giro d'Italia before dropping out on the second to last stage with a fever. He returned to racing this month after an extended break following the Tour de Suisse.

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